Homeless people ‘inappropriate’

Having to endure the sight of homeless people on the streets of Melbourne is “inappropriate”, according to a group of business operators who have demanded that Melbourne City Council do something to get rid of unsightly people.

In an email sent to the council last year, obtained by the Age newspaper, one hotel manager wrote: “The mere concept of seeing homeless in this location opposite our business and in clear view is very much inappropriate, as it undermines the guest experience and our investment in the building.” Council workers have reported being bombarded with complaints from a number of business owners.

Another hotel manager wrote online, in response to a guest whinge: “Regrettably, the city is being exposed to more homeless … we are in contact with the government.”

Doesn’t it make you feel sorry for those poor unfortunate hotel managers? How tough it must be for them, having to see homeless people huddling together in winter through their triple-glazed windows, or in summer from the comfort of their air-conditioned suites.

They can’t even bring themselves to recognise that homeless people are just that: people. If they thought it would increase their bottom line, they probably would throw homeless people into the Yarra.

What’s really inappropriate is a world in which there are people capable of paying more than $27,000 per night for Crown Towers’ palatial top floor suite, while others beg 50 metres away.

It’s inappropriate that year after year the rich get richer, while, according to homelessness charity Street Smart, around 14,000 people in Australia sleep rough out of a total homeless population of more than 100,000. “Every day”, the charity says, “two out of three people who look for crisis accommodation are turned away; there are ‘no vacancies’.”

It’s inappropriate that there are more empty homes in Australia than there are people who need shelter.

In fact, it’s more than inappropriate. It’s downright criminal.